It became news on Monday 16th October, after a group of Researchers at KU Leuven. A University in Belgium discovered a way for an attacker to spy on sensitive information sent over a Wi-Fi network. Some group of information security expects have tagged the day a “Black Monday”. This vulnerability affects absolutely every device using WPA2 Wi-Fi connection protocol. Which includes and not limited to Mac, Windows, iOS, Android or Linux, they’re all prone to KRACK. With this vulnerability, an attacker can decrypt and view information that is sent over a proposed secured Wi-Fi network.
“KRACK” is the given name and it’s short for Key Re-installation Attacks. Below is a detailed information of this vulnerability and what you can do to protect your device.
The WPA2 Wi-Fi network.
The WPA2 is an acronym of Wi-Fi Protected Access 2. It’s currently the industry standard that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks to thwart eavesdroppers. Notwithstanding it has been the secure option for most devices that use the Wi-Fi network since 2004.
Which devices are prone to KRACK Attack?
Virtually, every device using the WPA2 security protocol is prone to KRACK. Be it phones, tabs, computers etc, they’re all vulnerable. Also, the list of affected vendors are enormous. Although, vendors including Cisco, Amazon, Netgear and a host of others are scrambling to release patches to fix the issue. Currently, Microsoft has successfully fixed the problem for its customers running supported versions of Windows. Google on its call to action has promised a fix for affected Android’s devices in the coming weeks.
What type of information can be compromised by KRACK?
Anything that can be access and sent over a Wi-Fi network connection is at risk of being hacked. Although, an attacker needs to be physically in range of a particular Wi-Fi network to carry out the assault. This might pose a limitation, but having overcome the setback. He can do a whole lot, such as stealing credit card details, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos and more. It’s also possible for him to inject malicious information into the Wi-Fi network which could be malware, viruses and Trojans.
What to do about KRACK Vulnerability.
This vulnerability could affect every device you own that uses Wi-Fi. If your device uses public Wi-Fi, you are at higher risk. The vendors that make your products are working on patches which will be release in the coming days. Once patches are released, you will need to update your devices and hardware. The good news is that, this vulnerability does not require you to replace any hardware. It’s fixable through a software update.
How to Stay on Top of your device Updates.
You will be prompted by your device once an important security update is available. Many may update automatically while others have the option to manually check for updates. We recommend you check periodically this week so that you catch any updates as soon as they are released.
For questions and suggestions, please leave a comment below.